Description - Structural Factors in Turkic Language Contacts by Lars Johanson
Recent years have seen an upsurge of interest in the phenomenon of language contact and in the application of new methods to the investigation of this phenomenon. In this book, the author examines contributions that can be made to the general debate, in particular concerning structural factors in language contact, by examining contacts between Turkic and non-Turkic languages. These contacts have been sufficiently intensive and long-lasting to produce such phenomena as Turkic languages some of whose grammatical components are almost totally modelled on non-Turkic patterns, and non-Turkic languages including grammatical components similarly patterned after Turkic. Under appropriate social circumstances, in particular contact that is sufficiently intense and sufficiently intense and sufficiently long-lasting, almost any feature from one language can ultimately be copied into another.
The interplay of structural and social factors brings us to the heart of the author's argumentation: The likelihood of a particular structure being copied into another language is determined in part by social factors (such as the prestige of the language from which the structure is to be copied), in part by structural factors, the latter subsumed under the general heading of 'attractiveness'. This is a careful and insightful contribution to the general literature on language contact, in addition to its interest for students of Turkic languages. Many false generalisations that still all too frequently find their way into the literature on language contact are laid bare, and the methodology here used in evaluating particular instances of language contact involving Turkic languages can be used with profit by all students of language contact.
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(216mm x 140mm x mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
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